Community-based disposals

This page details the range of community-based disposals that are available to the courts and which enable the child or young person to remain in their community.

Deferred sentence

Allows the child or young person time to demonstrate good behaviour or voluntarily engage with services prior to determining sentence. This could result in the child or young person being admonished.

Structured deferred sentence

Fine or compensation order

The child or young person must pay compensation or a fine.

Drug Treatment and Testing Order



Six months to three years.


Restriction of Liberty Order (RLOs)

Under Section 245A of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 as inserted by Section 5 of the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997 and amended by sections 43 and 50(3) of the Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2003 or Section 245A (11) of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 as amended by section 121 of the AntiSocial Behaviour etc.(Scotland) Act 2004, a court can impose a Restriction of Liberty Order (RLO) on a child or young person (including those aged under 16).


Breaches and compliance

Community Payback Order

Under section 14 of the Criminal Justice and Licensing (Scotland) Act 2010 a Community Payback Order (CPO) may impose one or more of the following requirements:

  1. Offender supervision
  2. Compensation
  3. Unpaid work or other activity
    1. Level 1: 20–100 hours within three months
    2. Level 2: 101–300 hours within six months
      (other Activity (which can be up to 30% of the number of specified hours on the requirement, or 30 hours, whichever is lower) allows the child or young person to undertake activities to develop their interpersonal, educational, and vocational skills to support long-term desistance, with the exact number of ‘other activity’ hours to be determined by the case manager)
  4. Programme requirement (individual or group work)
  5. Residence requirement (specifies where the person is to reside or places they may not visit)
  6. Mental health treatment (distinct from mental health orders)
  7. Drug treatment (distinct from a DTTO)
  8. Alcohol treatment
  9. Conduct (person must refrain from certain actions)



Six months to three years.


Breaches and compliance

Remittal to Children’s Hearings System (CHS) for disposal

Should a judge or sheriff decide to remit a case back to the CHS for disposal possible outcomes include:

National Outcomes and Standards for Social Work Services in the Criminal Justice System 2010

These standards provide a framework for criminal justice social work practice, including guidance on:

Third Sector organisations

The support services offered as Community-based disposals may be provided by third sector organisations. These organisations may also be involved in providing court reports.

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